Today at Prime Minister's Questions
Today at PMQs, the Prime Minister underlined our commitment to building a stronger NHS for the future.
The Conservative government is strengthening the NHS workforce by:
- Recruiting a record number of doctors and nurses for our NHS, providing the world-class care patients deserve. There are 15,000 more doctors and 32,000 more nurses than in 2019, and since 2010 there are over 34,170 more doctors and over 44,820 more nurses working in the NHS.
- Recruiting 26,000 more primary care staff by March 2024, ensuring our health service has the manpower it needs to deliver for patients.
- Hiring record numbers of clinical staff in the NHS, with over 33,000 additional hospital workers in the last year alone.
- Enhancing nurse training with a £25 million investment package, improving the skills of workers.
We are busting the Covid backlog and focusing on the issues that matter most to patients:
- The King’s Fund highlighted that NHS funding is 40 per cent higher than when Labour were in office, and the NHS CEO praised the Government for being ‘serious about its commitment to prioritise the NHS’. We are investing a record £45 billion in our health and social care system.
- We are delivering 90,000 more GP appointments every day compared to last year and hiring record numbers of doctors, ensuring the NHS is there for everyone when they need it.
- We are rolling out 50 surgical hubs and 91 Community Diagnostic Centres, delivering over 2 million life-saving checks, tests, and scans.
- Last week, we launched the Elective Recovery Taskforce, unlocking spare capacity in the independent sector to help bust the Covid-19 backlogs.
- We are meeting our targets to beat the Covid backlog, virtually eliminating waits of over 2 years for treatment – the first target in the Elective Recovery Plan. We’ve also reduced the number of people waiting 18 months for treatment by almost 60 per cent in one year.
We are seeking to work constructively with the RCN and other unions involved in pay disputes:
- We have consistently spoken to all unions involved in pay disputes. The Health Secretary met with the Royal College of Nursing multiple times and is continuing to work at pace to find a solution, while also making sure emergency services continue to operate for those who need it.
- We have worked constructively with the RCN and delivered for nurses – including providing a 3 per cent pay rise when public sector pay was frozen last year. Last year, when public sector pay was frozen, we provided nurses with a 3 per cent pay rise. When the RCN asked for more in-work training, we gave every nurse and midwife a £1,000 training budget and made sure every nursing student received a £5,000 grant.
- Our priority will be keeping patients safe during any strike dates. The NHS has plans in place to minimise disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate. We are encouraging patients to come forward for emergency service as normal.